Business Communication Is Weighed Down by Fat

Article excerpt

Byline: Jim Pawlak

"YOUR ATTENTION, PLEASE: How to Appeal to Today's Distracted, Disinterested, Disengaged, Disenchanted and Busy Audiences" by Paul Brown and Alison Davis, Adams Media, $14.95.

Like fast-food meals, we've super-sized business communications.

The result: Audiences are gorging on information; they're overwhelmed by e-mails, voice mail, presentations filled with data, graphics, animation, sounds, etc. - and if you can find it and figure it out, there's a message buried in all of these, too.

The book's theme: Put the message first.

How? First, define your message. Think high content. What's that? You have to describe your message in a sentence, not a paragraph.

Then start by thinking like your audience.

Communication is about their perspective of the message, not yours. What's in it for them? Preparation is the key. Don't assume you know your audience. Ask questions; get feedback.

Check out employee blogs and what's been sent out on the company Intranet. Look at trade publications for clues.

Don't just give them information; tell them what they can do with it by creating a headline. …